Hate crimes investigation underway after man caught on camera harassing members of mosque

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Friday, February 23, 2024
Video shows man trespassing in Long Island mosque, harassing members
Chantee Lans has more.

MELVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- The Suffolk County hate crimes unit is investigating after a man was caught on camera harassing members of a mosque in Melville on Wednesday.

Video recorded by one of the mosque's members shows 46-year-old Jordan Endler shouting about the Israeli-Palestine conflict and refusing to leave.

"The guy just starts talking about, 'Are you Palestinian? Are you Hamas?,' all that stuff. 'Why don't release the hostages? Do you know what Hamas did? Do you know Hamas raped?'," 16-year-old Omar Amin said. "And we're just saying, 'Sir, we're not Hamas. We don't have these hostages. I don't know why you're coming here."

The Half Hollow Hills High School East student called police.

"He's just getting very loud and too close so what I do is, I go to the bathroom real quick, call the cops because I don't know if he has anything on him. I was scared," Amin said.

Suffolk County Police soon arrived, but after approaching Endler, they let him go.

Islamic Center of Melville President Dr. Talaat Abdelmoneim says he was concerned for his hundreds of members' society.

"That was real shocking at the time," Abdelmoneim said. "Of course all of those people and the children's parents worried at some point that what is going on here, especially with the first impression that this may not have been taken seriously."

Following the incident, the Muslim community on Long Island banded together to bring attention to the video on social media which led to Endler's arrest.

The 46-year-old was charged with criminal trespassing and harassment.

"It makes me feel better and safer that he won't come back," Amin said.

"It's unfortunate that these types of incidents continue to take place. All houses of worship should be a beacon and a safe space for the community," Suffolk County District Attorney Anti-Bias Council Hassan Ahmed said.

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NJ Burkett reports.


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